Recommendations for Future Research
Given the results of this research undertaken in a charity organization, future research should be undertaken to investigate the application of the proposed research model in the private and public sectors. Furthermore, given that happiness at work has been described as having satisfaction, commitment, and engagement components (see Fisher, 2010), the current research model could be extended to include employee engagement as an additional mediator of the relationship between OEI and intention to leave, as well as other individual-level work outcomes (e.g., organizational citizenship behavior, psychological well-being, cooperation, compliance, advocacy, and job performance).
Researchers could apply the current research model to organizations in different countries, particularly in cultures which have what Hofstede (2001) describes as high “power-distance” and strongly “collectivistic” norms (e.g., Sub-continental and Eastern Asia), as opposed to the low “power-distance” and “individualistic” culture of the United Kingdom.
Future researchers may also want to investigate the relationship of OEI with individual levels of EI amongst individuals in organizations, along the lines of previous research by Higgs and Dulewicz (2002) and Menges and Bruch (2009). For example, future researchers could further explore the relationship between collective organizational EI, OEI as the overall perception of organizational behavior (as in this research) and affective commitment and job satisfaction. Such research could shed further light on whether OEI is related to levels of individual EI in organizations, as proposed by Menges and Bruch (2009) and Higgs and Dulewicz (2002). This type of research could further investigate the relationship between individual EI, organizational EI, and employee attitudes, such as organizational commitment and job satisfaction.
Future research could also separate the measurement of different components of the proposed research model over time in order to make more accurate inferences of causality (Tan & Lim, 2009). Longitudinal research is better able to establish the relationships of cause and effect between variables over time and can also be linked to data on actual employee performance and behavior in organizations. Critically, in order to eliminate the possibility of common method bias future researchers should also look to validate the current research model with actual employee turnover and absenteeism data. Research of this nature would allow for further testing of the predictive validity of OEI in relation to organizational performance.
Intention to leave is commonly impacted by factors other than the work environment and work attitudes, such as the accumulated investment which employees have in their organizations, both in terms of financial and monetary schemes (i.e., stock options, healthcare plans, and pension arrangements) and their relationships with colleagues. Similarly, other external variables measuring employees’ assessment of job market opportunities and perceived ability to secure employment are also be likely related to commitment and intention to leave. Future researchers could therefore test the moderating impact of variables such as continuance commitment, which captures the impact of perceived investments in the organization and perceived lack of alternatives on the relationship between OEI and intention to leave.